Some travel by car while many from our family arrive in Bismarck via airplane. We join my mother who arrived a couple of weeks ago and my aunt and cousins who live in the Bismarck area. We are here to place my father's ashes to rest, to experience the North Dakota lifestyle, and to party.
Cousin Barb is a dynamo who has coordinated meals and activities for the week. She and her husband Paul have also opened their hearts and home for five of us to use as our B&B. My Mom and her cousin Sandy are staying with my aunt. Another cousin and his wife are trying out an AirBnB while my brother and his family are staying at the Residence Inn. The seven guests that arrive by dinner time Saturday are treated to a home style meal.
Barb & Paul kick off the major activities with a "sausage & potatoes" dinner at their home Sunday evening. Barb's five brothers and their wives pitch in food and a large buffet emerges for the 40+ members of the family able to join in the fun. Venison and pork sausage prepared three ways along with two styles of potatoes are the centerpiece, complimented by salads and fruit. Desserts including Barb's wedding kuchen finish out the meal. It is wonderful catching up with the activities and hopes of the family members. We take a few photographs of the cousins to commemorate the gathering. The first cousins from the older generation, my Mom, Aunt Jan and Cousin Sandy are first, followed by a full group shot. Then the second generation cousins (Dan, Barb, Randy, Ric, Ron, me, Randy, Mary, Roger, Butch) are asked to pose. We are only missing Mark and Liz - maybe next time everyone will be able to join.